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LOTR series: a view of the Two Trees


Ser Scot A Ellison
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7 minutes ago, fionwe1987 said:

How did this Elven law apply to him but not to so many other Elves that did marry in that time?

Ask Tolkien.  I would guess that maybe because he's frontline guy he takes that stuff more seriously.   But it is said that they are actually in love and not like she's pining after him or something.

Scott, it's in Morgoth's Ring from HOME.  Its a story about Finrod and Andreth(Aegnor's love) discussing life and death.  Most of the Aegnor info (including detailed description) is in the notes

Edited by Slurktan
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6 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

HOME?  I don’t recall that from The Silmarillon or Unfinished Tales.

I was going off of (spotty) memory, but HOME is the source. Not a very well thought out story, from the looks of it, at least when it comes to this Elven law.

Edited by fionwe1987
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2 hours ago, Slurktan said:

Ask Tolkien.  I would guess that maybe because he's frontline guy he takes that stuff more seriously.   But it is said that they are actually in love and not like she's pining after him or something.

Scott, it's in Morgoth's Ring from HOME.  Its a story about Finrod and Andreth(Aegnor's love) discussing life and death.  Most of the Aegnor info (including detailed description) is in the notes

Though the concept in relation to Middle-earth is nebulous, I think it's generally agreed that nothing in the HoME series is canon to the final version of the legendarium, especially when it contradicts lore from the published final texts.

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6 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

How did this Elven law apply to him but not to so many other Elves that did marry in that time?

Very few Eldar actually married in that time. Tolkien is rather adamant (although to various degrees) that Elves only marry in times of peace. They can postpone having children for a pretty long time if they have to, e.g. Elrond and Celebrían who could have married and had children throughout the SA but chose to do it only afterwards.

Unless I'm mistaken then the only important Elves who marry during the FA are the parents of the Half-elven, i.e. Lúthien, Idril, and Dior-Nimloth. And those unions seem to be preordained. And Eol and Aredhel is distasteful/wrong.

None of the exiled Noldor marry in Middle-earth. The only prominent example I can think of right now is Orodreth whose nameless wife, the mother of Gil-galad and Finduilas, was a Sinda. None of Feanor's or Fingolfin's sons marry in Middle-earth, Orodreth himself (as Angrod's son) was born in Valinor, as was Celebrimbor, regardless whether he was Curufin's son or not. Galadriel and Celeborn only marry after the end of the FA, Fingon was never married, and Turgon lost his wife on the march while Finrod's love didn't accompany him.

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3 hours ago, Werthead said:

Though the concept in relation to Middle-earth is nebulous, I think it's generally agreed that nothing in the HoME series is canon to the final version of the legendarium, especially when it contradicts lore from the published final texts.

That depends. The only real published canon would be what JRRT actually published during his lifetime. The Silmarillion as given by Christopher is his Silmarillion, as are the edited versions of the stories he gives in UT.

If you would ask me, any story/draft not directly contradicting the published JRRT canon and/or better fitting with things as depicted there, can be taken as canonical.

The Athrabeth, for instance, is mainly a philosphical dispute, anyway. Neither of the characters nor the narrator know *the truth*, so such a text can fit with the other things even if there were some contradictions.

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The original Fall of men, in Tolkien's imaginary world - when all actually became servants of Morgoth before some questioned the wisdom of this allegiance.

And the notion that if Eru is to save and redeem Arda, the Valar won't be enough. Eru himself needs to enter Arda to heal her from inside the world - so Iluvatar basically has to incarnate into a mortal man.

Very interesting take on some famous stories, though one can see why this didn't make it into the published more "official/public" tales like Silmarillion.

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On 10/7/2021 at 12:15 AM, Lord Varys said:

That depends. The only real published canon would be what JRRT actually published during his lifetime. The Silmarillion as given by Christopher is his Silmarillion, as are the edited versions of the stories he gives in UT.

If you would ask me, any story/draft not directly contradicting the published JRRT canon and/or better fitting with things as depicted there, can be taken as canonical.

I think the first point is what people default to: Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are 100% canon, along with the Middle-earth material in The Road Goes Ever On and The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, since that was all material released by Tolkien during his lifetime. The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales are secondary canon, since Christopher Tolkien effectively made editorial decisions in presenting that material that his father may not have done (as CT says himself at length), but they also constitute the closest CT could get to presenting a complete and coherent view of Middle-earth as was possible at a given point in time, even if they did not represent JRRT's final views on the subject (since JRRT's final views had not been advanced very far in writings, and were only discussed or lightly sketched).

HoME - including the recent sort-of epilogue to that series, The Nature of Middle-earth - probably should not be considered canon on any level, except for the material which CT found later on in life which should have probably been included more in Unfinished Tales than that series.

From the perspective of the TV show, of course, it sounds like everything is on the table as you describe, and they will create new ideas and material that interweaves around the established material. They have to do that because otherwise they wouldn't have the ability to make the show.

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9 minutes ago, Werthead said:

I think the first point is what people default to: Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are 100% canon, along with the Middle-earth material in The Road Goes Ever On and The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, since that was all material released by Tolkien during his lifetime. The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales are secondary canon, since Christopher Tolkien effectively made editorial decisions in presenting that material that his father may not have done (as CT says himself at length), but they also constitute the closest CT could get to presenting a complete and coherent view of Middle-earth as was possible at a given point in time, even if they did not represent JRRT's final views on the subject (since JRRT's final views had not been advanced very far in writings, and were only discussed or lightly sketched).

I don't think UT can be part of any canon in a meaningful way, considering most of the stories collected in there are unfinished. An unfinished work cannot really be viewed as complete or accurate in a meaningful sense. In that sense, the stories collected in UT are in no way different from the stories collected in the HoME. The difference only is that Christopher changed and edited the texts in UT more than he did those in the HoME, obscuring the textual history.

And if Christopher's canon is basically the Silmarillion you can just as well don't go with a secondary canon.

Overall, a canon approach to Tolkien's works is pretty stupid, anyway. We have an unfinished mythology in written in three distinct phases. The proper approach to edit and publish the stories would have been more that of the HoME and in the form of thematic collections, as Christopher himself realized at the end of his life with 'Beren and Lúthien' and 'The Fall of Gondolin'. 'The Children of Húrin' would have also worked much better as a collection of all the versions of that story in existence rather than the idea to create 'a definitive version'.

The only person creating a definitive version would have been the author and he failed at that. One could even say he flat-out refused to do that. Which is how folks should view his posthumous works.

Thanks to Christopher's Silmarillion most people think there exists such a canonical work, meaning in the mind of most people the breath and depth of the actual material shrinks to 500 pages of published material.

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22 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I don't think UT can be part of any canon in a meaningful way, considering most of the stories collected in there are unfinished. An unfinished work cannot really be viewed as complete or accurate in a meaningful sense. In that sense, the stories collected in UT are in no way different from the stories collected in the HoME. The difference only is that Christopher changed and edited the texts in UT more than he did those in the HoME, obscuring the textual history.

I think UT is important and distinct from HoME, because HoME consists mostly of draft material for The Silmarillion and LotR which was superseded later on. The essays and narratives in UT were never meant to be part of the Sil and were written and conceived as stand-alone narratives expanding on various issues that he never really talked about elsewhere. Hence, that material is valuable and arguably of greater relevance to an understanding of Middle-earth than HoME. Or to put it another way, if you read and enjoy the fiction of Middle-earth but have no interest in the earlier drafts or disregarded ideas, you'll get far more out of Unfinished Tales than you will HoME.

It is a shame that CT never released all of the varying drafts for the material in UT in the same way he did for almost everything else, though, so other people could bring their analyses to bear on the decisions he made.

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  • 2 weeks later...
5 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

So... the main character from episode 3 is Isildur. Can't say I'm happy with that.

Uh what? Are they just smooshing the Sil and the forging of the Rings into the first two episodes and then jumping straight to the end of Akallabeth? Or are they heavily condensing it all so the Forging, the Corruption of Numenor, and the Last Alliance happen over the space of a couple of years? 

Does this mean the ending of S1 is the Downfall then? Like... some of the most spectacular imagery in all of fantasy (I just re-read The Sil) is getting done out the gate? Or are we not going to see Numenor in its glory days before Sauron's final corruption takes place?

I am baffled.

Edited by Ser Drewy
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22 minutes ago, Ser Drewy said:

Uh what? Are they just smooshing the Sil and the forging of the Rings into the first two episodes and then jumping straight to the end of Akallabeth? Or are they heavily condensing it all so the Forging, the Corruption of Numenor, and the Last Alliance happen over the space of a couple of years? 

Or they are doing regular flashbacks during the main Isildur plot.

Honestly compression seems kind of inevitable when you are dealing with those timespans and do not have enough immortal characters to cover everything, though why one would then also waste time on Hobbits is anyone's guess.

Edited by ASOIAFrelatedusername
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3 hours ago, Ser Drewy said:

Uh what? Are they just smooshing the Sil and the forging of the Rings into the first two episodes and then jumping straight to the end of Akallabeth? Or are they heavily condensing it all so the Forging, the Corruption of Numenor, and the Last Alliance happen over the space of a couple of years? 

Does this mean the ending of S1 is the Downfall then? Like... some of the most spectacular imagery in all of fantasy (I just re-read The Sil) is getting done out the gate? Or are we not going to see Numenor in its glory days before Sauron's final corruption takes place?

I am baffled.

My guess is that we're looking at non-linear storytelling (think the Witcher) or smooshed timelines.

But I am feeling quite gloomy about this. Isildur as the focal character from season 3, fine. but not episode 3.

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22 minutes ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

My guess is that we're looking at non-linear storytelling (think the Witcher) or smooshed timelines.

But I am feeling quite gloomy about this. Isildur as the focal character from season 3, fine. but not episode 3.

If it's true, could be non-linear. Could also be Elendil and Isildur discovering the lore as a framing device... maybe. Still not too keen on that one either, though.

Although I admit I always figured the Forging of the Rings would be the central narrative of season one, with Sauron and probably Celebrimbor as the main characters. 

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I don't see a problem with Isildur being one of the main characters, he's one of the few characters in the Second Age who notably actually does stuff. For as much as I'm interested in the making of the rings and such, the rings themselves don't really play much of a role in the second age,  Even the one.

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8 hours ago, Slurktan said:

I don't see a problem with Isildur being one of the main characters, he's one of the few characters in the Second Age who notably actually does stuff. For as much as I'm interested in the making of the rings and such, the rings themselves don't really play much of a role in the second age,  Even the one.

Celebrimbor, Elrond, Altharion, Gil-Galad, Galadriel, Celeborn, the Lords of Moria, Sauron, the Nazgul?

These folks did nothing during the Second age?

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We only know the broad swaths of the events of the Second Age, so I think the show should focus on fleshing out those elements as much as they can instead of jumping to the popular characters. That being said, I've expected a potential shrinking of the massive timeline, so I wouldn't be surprised if Isildur is born earlier than he should be, for example.

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